Kids First: Five Big Ideas for Transforming Children's Lives and America's Future

Kids First: Five Big Ideas for Transforming Children's Lives and America's Future

by David Kirp
     
 

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"Smart, sharp, and clear about what we need to do to lift the kids who need help the most." -Diane Ravitch  See more details below

Overview


"Smart, sharp, and clear about what we need to do to lift the kids who need help the most." -Diane Ravitch

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Kirkus

“An important, well-researched wake-up call, and any part of it that educators and lawmakers take into account is worthwhile”

Diane Ravitch, Author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System

“David Kirp’s book could change the policy debate about how to improve the lives of children. It’s smart, sharp, and clear about what we need to do to lift the kids who need help the most.”

Robert B. Reich, Former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Chancellor’s Professor Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley

“In an era when answers to America’s myriad social problems seem dismally remote, David Kirp comes to the rescue with important ideas for giving our kids better lives. Kirp thinks big, writes beautifully, and compels our attention. His agenda is practical and necessary. And if America’s children had any political clout, they’d demand it.”

Edward Zigler, Sterling Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, Yale University

“David Kirp is a leading scholar who in this book provides us with a knowledge-based, cradle-to-college agenda that merits the attention of every parent and policymaker in America.”

Randi Weingarten

"Kids First is an eye-opener, a Lasik-like procedure to cure the tunnel vision that afflicts many of those who fancy themselves education experts. Kirp shines a light on what we need to do outside of schools even as we seek to redesign our schools to prepare students to succeed in today's fast-changing world."

Kirkus, January 15, 2011

“An important, well-researched wake-up call, and any part of it that educators and lawmakers take into account is worthwhile.” 

Kirkus Reviews

A comprehensive, community-based plan for education and child development.

It's been 15 years since Hillary Clinton said that it takes a village to raise a child, but so far, no one's been able to figure out how to make that happen. Kirp (Public Policy/Univ. of California, Berkeley; The Sandbox Investment: The Preschool Movement and Kids-First Politics, 2007, etc.) provides five concrete action items for society to adopt to ensure that children don't fall through the cracks. This isn't strictly an education book—in fact, as the author writes in his first point, starting in schools is too late. Rather, we need to equip parents with the tools they need to care for their children from birth. His second point focuses on early-childhood education, a crucial time in child development that Kirp argues is often overlooked. His answer to the traditional school model is a more community-based structure in which schools are fully integrated into a student's life. Fourth, the author argues for the value of volunteers and the impact that mentors and other adults can have on a child's life. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Kirp stresses the necessity of making sure children have a nest egg or savings plan to finance higher education. The author backs his theories with countless examples of successful private and publicly funded programs that have taken on separate pieces of this plan, from Big Brothers Big Sisters to the I Have a Dream Foundation. While these programs have proven fruitful for certain tenets of the plan for certain groups, the key to Kirp's treatise is uniformity: All children should have access to all of these opportunities—without that, success is almost arbitrary.

Skeptics will argue that this is a pipe dream; despite a carefully outlined budget in the appendix, it's a valid point. However, the author provides an important, well-researched wake-up call, and any part of it that educators and lawmakers take into account is worthwhile.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781610391030
Publisher:
PublicAffairs
Publication date:
07/10/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,219,273
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.84(h) x 0.76(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

Kirkus
“An important, well-researched wake-up call, and any part of it that educators and lawmakers take into account is worthwhile”

Diane Ravitch, Author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System
“David Kirp’s book could change the policy debate about how to improve the lives of children. It’s smart, sharp, and clear about what we need to do to lift the kids who need help the most.”

Robert B. Reich, Former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Chancellor’s Professor Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley
“In an era when answers to America’s myriad social problems seem dismally remote, David Kirp comes to the rescue with important ideas for giving our kids better lives. Kirp thinks big, writes beautifully, and compels our attention. His agenda is practical and necessary. And if America’s children had any political clout, they’d demand it.”

Edward Zigler, Sterling Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, Yale University
“David Kirp is a leading scholar who in this book provides us with a knowledge-based, cradle-to-college agenda that merits the attention of every parent and policymaker in America.”

Randi Weingarten
"Kids First is an eye-opener, a Lasik-like procedure to cure the tunnel vision that afflicts many of those who fancy themselves education experts. Kirp shines a light on what we need to do outside of schools even as we seek to redesign our schools to prepare students to succeed in today's fast-changing world."

Kirkus, January 15, 2011
“An important, well-researched wake-up call, and any part of it that educators and lawmakers take into account is worthwhile.” 

Meet the Author


David L. Kirp, a professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. His previous books include Shakespeare, Einstein, and the Bottom Line.

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